When it comes to essential kitchen tools, there’s only a few that you 100% need to own if you’re cooking anything more complicated than eggs. That being said, if you’ve recently wandered through a kitchen supply store, you’ve probably been overwhelmed by the endless number of crazy gadgets being offered up. Behold, the secret to kitchen success—you don’t need them all. With tools for just about everything, many of us don’t have the time, money, or—let’s be real—patience to figure out what’s actually worth it. Since we’re all about making dinner easier and more fun, we’re excited to share our go-tips for when you’re halfway through a recipe and realize you miiight not have what you need…
No cookie cutter?
If you’re aiming for that picture-perfect sugar cookie but don’t have a cookie cutter, grab your typical glass or jar. Flip it over, and apply enough pressure on the lip to cut through the dough.
No vegetable peeler?
A vegetable peeler is definitely a time saver in the kitchen, but it’s not essential. You can carefully use a knife for most vegetables, or a spoon for ginger—our chefs love using this trick.
No cooling rack?
Most baking recipes call for a cooling rack, which is an elevated wire tray to help your baked goods cool at a steady temperature. If you don’t have one, just flip over a cardboard egg tray and set your baking pan on top.
No rolling pin?
If a rolling pin didn’t make it on the wedding registry (or you’re just not into making pies), we’re happy to report that a wine bottle does the trick. Pile that dough into a ball, and roll it out with your favorite corked rosé.
No meat pounder?
Many of us don’t have a meat pounder, which is used to flatten meat and poultry prior to cooking. Instead, our Culinary Team suggests using the weight of a tomato sauce jar. Make sure to disinfect after use.
No juice squeezer?
If you don’t have a juice squeezer, just reach for your favorite tongs (a Plated essential). Not only will you save your hands from all the hard work, but you’ll get more juice out of your favorite citrus fruit!
No pastry bag for piping icing?
8 If you’re decorating cupcakes, but don’t have a pastry bag, look no further than any large, resealable plastic baggie. Our culinary staff swears by them—just snip one corner, place a pastry tip inside, and fill with icing like you would a regular pastry bag. Don’t forget to seal it!
If you need to transfer liquid into a small space and don’t have a funnel, you can easily make one with foil, parchment, or wax paper. If you’d like something a little sturdier, trim the bottom of an empty soda bottle (specifically 3 inches below where the neck slopes).